NOFA-NJ put on a tractor class taught by Shane LaBrake at our farm last week. We spent the first day going over how an engine works. This really sparked my interest because it provided context to why taking care of your tractor is important. Daily preventative measures will keep your tractor running and make you a better farmer. Raising the professionalism for beginning farmers is important for our emerging food movement to take root. Farming is also one of the most dangerous jobs in America and every way we can better understand the equipment we are using the safer we can operate. Shane showed us first hand how to change the oil, tighten the fan belt, change the coolant, and service the air filter. His patience and practicality permeated a work ethic that is inspiring. It reminds me that as a farm manager I am responsible for more then just producing good vegetables, I also need to promote professionalism in farming so we can have a generation of competent small scale farmers. After all, food is wildly important to so many issues in our current society, as it always has been throughout our culture.